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Mohammed Morad, Isack Kandel, Joav Merrick
Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(7): PH75-77
Unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the general population, but even more of a concern in the population of persons with intellectual disability. The present study was conducted to investigate trends in choking resulting in death of persons with intellectual disability in residential care centers in Israel over the period of 1991-2004.
Material and Method: Data for this study came from the Office of the Medical Director (OMD), Division for Mental Retardation (DMR), Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. Every case of death in residential centers is reported to the OMD, which has registered the place of residence, date of birth, age at death, sex, ethnic background, level of ID, cause of death, autopsy, and review committee, if this was established, in a data register since 1991. Data concerned with food choking were extracted from the mortality register for the 1991-2004 period.
Results: Over the study period (14 years) there was a total of 1019 cases of death with 27 (2.65%) caused by food choking. The average rate was 42.6 per 100,000 study population for food choking.
Conclusions: The solution is prevention. In recent years the OMD together with other professionals have produced educational material and seminars on feeding and preventive measures. Not every case can be prevented, but it is important to identify risk factors, educate care givers, and ensure that food products that are common choking hazards are kept away from residents who are at risk.